The Arctic is in Paul Nicklen’s blood. Born and raised on Baffin Island, Nunavut, he grew up in one of the only non-Inuit families in a tiny native settlement amid the ice fields, floes, and frigid seas of Northern Canada. At an age when most children are playing hide-and-seek, he was learning life-and-death lessons of survival: how to read the weather, find shelter in a frozen snowscape, or live off the land as his Inuit neighbors had done for centuries.
Today Nicklen is a naturalist and wildlife photographer uniquely qualified to portray the impact of climate change on the polar regions and their inhabitants, human and animal alike. In a wise and wonderful intertwining of art and science, his bold expeditions plunge him into freezing seas to capture unprecedented, up-close documentation of the lives of leopard seals, whales, walruses, polar bears, bearded seals, and narwhals. Bathed in polar light, his images, inspiring and amazing, break new ground in photography and provide a vivid, timely portrait of two extraordinary, endangered ecosystems. Look Inside Polar Obsession
Click on thumbnails for larger images
|A large female leopard seal greets photographer Göran Ehlmé. Anvers Island, Antarctica ||A young polar bear leaps between ice floes. Barents Sea, Svalbard, Norway ||A kittiwake soars in front of a large iceberg. Svalbard, Norway ||Narwhals dive deep under the ice to feed on Arctic cod, then return to the surface to breathe and raise their tusks high in the air. Lancaster Sound, Nunavut, Canada ||Mother bear and two-year-old cub drift on glacier ice. Hudson Strait, Nunavut, Canada |
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|A gentoo penguin chick peeks, checking for patrolling leopard seals before tempting fate. Port Lockroy, Antarctic Peninsula ||A leopard seal feeds Paul Nicklen a penguin. Antarctic Peninsula ||A large bull walrus returns to the shores of Prins Karl Forland after diving and feeding on clams. Svalbard, Norway ||Looking towards an uncertain future, a huge male bear triggers a camera trap, taking his own picture. Leifdefjorden, Spitsbergen, Norway ||In the Arctic spring, meltwater channels drain toward and down a seal hole, returning to the sea. |
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About the Author
Paul Nicklen has been published in magazines around the world, including ten articles for National Geographic.
He began his career as a wildlife biologist and took up photography fifteen years ago with the desire to bridge the gap between scientific research and public knowledge on wildlife subjects and climate change.